One of the best museums in the entire country, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art houses some of the finest collections of European art. The museum walls are lined with Renaissance and Modern art, including work by Caravaggio, Lorrain, Picasso, Degas, Cézanne, van Dyck, Monet, Van Gogh, and more. One of the most outstanding collections at the museum is that of the Hudson River School and late 19th Century oil and watercolors from local artists. Open since 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in the United States.
Take a break from your hectic schedule and enjoy a few moments of relaxation at Elizabeth Park Conservancy. Operating since 1897, this beautiful park has been a place of interest for the locals as well as the tourists due to its charming gardens. The property spans an area of 102 acres (41 hectares) and is home to a heritage rose garden, horticultural garden, shade garden and four other gardens. Besides the lush greenery, it features four century-old Greenhouses verdant pathways, lawns and many more things to do on a sunny day. It also provides facilities for recreational activities like tennis courts, basket ball courts, picnic groves and many others. All in all you are sure to enjoy your time here.
Built as a replacement for the Gothic-style church that burned down in 1956, the majestically modern Cathedral of St. Joseph built in was built in 1962. The cathedral is beautifully adorned with stained glass, elegant bronze bells and ceramic-titled murals that surround the altar of this impressive edifice.
Since the American Revolution, Connecticut has had three Capitols; built in 1878, this angelic-white structure is the state's third and last one. Designed by renowned American architect Richard M. Upjohn, the gold-domed building was erected in the Victorian Eastlake Movement-style and constructed using marble sourced from three different East Coast states. The iconic structure's stunning main facade is embellished with a series of carefully-crafted statues that bear likenesses to some of the most influential politicians and historic citizens to have come out of Connecticut. The capitol building is currently home to the state senate and the house of representatives, while also maintaining the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.
Riverside Park is one of Hartford's oldest public parks and its location on the waterfront invites all for a relaxing stroll or bike ride next to the water. The series of four, 148-acre parks on both sides of the River are popular picnicking and excursion spots for Hartford's residents and the many people who work Downtown during the week. Visitors can use the boathouse for rowing along the Connecticut River, get permits to go fishing or during the summer months, and even attend one of the numerous events at the riverfront venue, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza.
Connecticut in all its glory is proudly displayed here at the state's official museum that highlights the history of America's Constitution State. From its inception as a place for nutmeg dealers at the ports of New Haven and New London to the present day, everything you wanted to know about Connecticut can be found on this museum's walls and shelves. A couple of the highlights include the Joseph C. Mitchelson coin collection and the Freedom Trail Quilts. It's a great place for those who want to know more about these 'Nutmeggers', or how residents of the state are called.
Sitting beside the Supreme Court Building, the Connecticut State Library is a repository for many historical materials that pertain to the state. It not only provides historical archives and documents, but it functions as a modern library that allows residents to access material and facilities. Also on-site is the Museum of Connecticut History, the institution that officially oversees the historical archives of the Constitution State.
Upholding the principles of equality, liberty, and dignity, the Connecticut Freedom Trail pays homage to the long-standing African American struggle which materialized in Connecticut. This heritage trail immortalizes the brave men and women who struggled against slavery before it was abolished in 1865. Established in 1996, the Connecticut Freedom Trail is spread throughout the state and is embellished with more than 130 historically-significant sites which are a reminder of the legendary struggle. The trail explores the journey of escaped slaves to avoid capture and the fight against slavery. The trail includes underground railroad safe havens, such as barns and homes, as well as locations where the freed slaves settled down and built communities. Some of the many sites embedded on to the course of the trail are African American Memorial, Chauncey Brown House, Lyman Homestead, Old North Cemetery and Mark Twain House.
Take a walk by the lake, have a picnic, or ride on the vintage 1914 carousel that is housed in one of America's first municipal parks. Since the mid-1850s, Bushnell Park has offered citizens a comfortable place to unwind away from the hustle-and-bustle of downtown Hartford. On the registry of National Historic Landmarks since 1970, the famous Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch dedicated to those in the Civil War is one of the major highlights as well as the Horace Wells Monument and the Corning Fountain.